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How women can rise faster in their careers.

According to Sylvia Ann Hewlett, an authority figure on talent and humen resource, here are three things that women can do to rise faster in their careers;

1. Always project professionalism. Take notice of your appearance. Appear polished, but not provocative; 73% of leaders surveyed for the Center for Talent Innovation’s research on executive presence cite provocative clothing as the number one appearance blunder for a woman attempting to climb the career ladder. This is not to suggest that you lose your personal style in the workplace. But it’s imperative that your clothing, makeup, hairstyle, body language, and communication style don’t give the wrong impression. 

2. Meet your Career sponsor in public. Coffee in the conference room, lunch on campus, or a restaurant well-trafficked by office personnel where you can take the opportunity to wave to colleagues and
demonstrate that you have nothing to hide — these are safe choices. Dinner on a business trip may be unavoidable, but make sure the venue isn’t the kind of place you’d ever go on a date. Ideally, you want to make meeting with your sponsor a routine, choosing the same time and place time and time again. Regularity ensures that nothing will appear irregular about meeting your sponsor one-on-one. 

3. Don’t hide your private life. Talk about your significant others — spouse, partner, kids — and introduce these people to your sponsor. Publicize your outside commitments to church or temple, athletic league, or community organization. Put photos on your desk or screensaver that assure others you have a network of emotional ties outside work. By doing so, you’ll telegraph the completeness of your private life and tamp down the threat of an ulterior agenda. 

4. Silence gossip by proving that you’re special. When people complain that you’re receiving special attention, they’re insinuating that you don’t deserve it. Acting surprised or super nice only reinforces their belief that you’ve got something to hide. Squelch those rumors by wowing everyone with the quality of your work, the extra hours you’re putting in, and the special skills you contribute. In a word, own your special status and demonstrate why you deserve it.

Sponsorship is vital to fulfilling your potential, turbocharging your career, and delivering your dreams. During economic downturns and corporate restructuring, it’s often the only thing between you and the door. So strengthen your career springboard — and your safety net — by making yourself safe for sponsorship.

Adapted from the Harvard Business Review Blog. 

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